Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, provides an update, in Edmonton on Monday, March 30, 2020, on COVID-19 and the ongoing work to protect public health. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

107 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, 5 additional deaths

More than 1,000 cases in Alberta total

The number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, and deaths, rose on Friday, but the province’s premier says the health-care system is well prepared for the pandemic.

There are 107 new cases of the virus in the province, bringing the total to 1,075. There are five new deaths, for a total of 18.

Before Friday’s update, there were 968 cases and 13 deaths.

There was one new case in Red Deer, so now there are 25 confirmed cases in the city.

There are 10 cases in Red Deer County, three in Lacombe, one in Innisfail, one in Stettler and county, and one in Olds.

Premier Jason Kenney, speaking Friday, said the province now has enough data to project the likely number of cases that will be experienced in the province, information that will be released next week.

“I can assure Albertans today, however, that the modelling indicates that we have the health-care equipment, personnel and supplies needed to cope with anticipated hospitalization and intensive care units, including the usage of ventilators,” Kenney said at the daily update.

Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House and Rimbey currently have no confirmed cases of the virus, according to the government’s website.

Four of the most recent deaths were in Calgary at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre. A woman in her 20s from Edmonton has also died as a result of the infection.

“This is a tragic reminder that it is not only the elderly and those with underlying conditions who are at risk,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

Hinshaw added the large increase of recent cases in Alberta is partially due to a backlog in tests. Alberta now has more than 60,00o completed tests, which is 13,600 per million people, significantly higher than any other province, as well as most countries.

According to the daily update, there is evidence of 137 cases of community transmission, up from 29 from Thursday. One-hundred and ninety-six people have now also recovered from COVID-19, up from 174 on Thursday.

One additional preventative measure Alberta Health Services announced Friday was limiting visitors to hospitals. With few exceptions, patients will no longer be able to have visitors.

“Please plan to support loved ones in hospital with virtual visits,” Hinshaw said.

In Canada, there are now 12,375 cases of COVID-19 and 208 deaths.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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